CHAPTER, H POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE WE may as well begin at the top, by going to stay with the Viceroy. It will not teach us much aboute India,5 but it is an instructive experience in other ways. Besides, it was my first port of call, and there is a faint hope that we may be able to keep to some sort of rough chronological sequence. This is desirable, not because we are unrolling a pictorial panorama but because we are tracing an intellectual development. India gets into your system all too soon; the first shocks wear off with astounding rapidity. The flaming blossoms of the golden mohur trees, which scorched your eyes when you first saw them, soon lose their glory; to-day you do not even turn youx head whereas yesterday you stared and stared. It is the same with the horrors. Indians are not deliberately cruel to animals, they have a natural feeling of kinship and affection for them. But their ignorance and poverty are indirectly responsible for appalling suffering. I had not been in India ten minutes before I saw my first typical skeleton horse, limping and staggering down the road, and eventually plunging into the gutter, a quivering mass of pain and sores. When you see that sort of thing for the first time you do something about it* What you do is usually very silly and quite useless, engendering heat, worrying the police, and in no way helping the horse. So you learn, out of bitter necessity, to harden your heart.1 With the beggars too, you hold your haftd. Your first visit to a railway station, the favourite rendezvous of India's beggars3 is like a trip through the galleries of those waxen monsters that used to be exhibited by the showmen at the great Prater fair in Vienna. Here are lepers, and tertiary syphilitics, and blind children—not born blind, but blinded by their parents so that they may prove a source of future income in the beggar market. Here are the 1 This need not prevent you from subscribing to the E.S.P.C.A., one of tfce finest bodies of men and women who are fighting the battles of the animals in any part of the world. Their address is 359 Hornby Road, Bombay, and every anna helps !